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Matsubara Naoko: Waterfall (1966)

" … it produces its own perpetual Success …"

I embrace a distinctly
Panglossian philosophy. If this isn't the best of all possible worlds, it seems to be the one I have. It seems to me that I only ever inhabit the place I stand. Past has gone and future remains safely out of hand, out of touch. I can pine after what already left or aspire after some state not yet achieved or I can find satisfaction with what I presently possess, with what presently possesses me. I might be becoming but I am also being, and my being seems more powerful, more present, more dominant than any shit ton of whatever I might one day become. Consequently, where I sit this morning might just as well be Heaven, since it probably amounts to the closest I'm ever likely to see of it, anyway.

Believe me, please, I remain hugely aware of the contradictions inherent within my belief system, within any belief system.
I just don't have anything better to bring to my game. I could, and, believe me, I have invested my current time in both complaining and aspiring. I consider myself a veteran player of the dissatisfaction game, the unrequited intentions and the simmering shorted feelings. None of any of those ever bought me a damned thing. They didn't even prove to produce any half-decent inspiration. I've railed against plutocrats and Repuglicans, liberals as well as conservatives, without even once, as near as I can determine, influencing their perspectives or changing their worlds. I wouldn't really want to be responsible for the choices they make, anyway, since those belong to them, however obviously unqualified they seem to be to make them. They might be a feature of every Heaven. They seem to have their own Heavens to manage. Mine's almost a full time job without accepting anybody else's.

My Heaven demands much effort to maintain it. It does not just manifest. It needs dusting and produces dirty dishes that continually need doing, and it can encourage certain frustrations. It sometimes seems to be trying to get the best of me, or to take the very best away from my reach. It can generate numbing sameness and shocking variety. I cannot always feel as though I can keep up. I fall behind sometimes to the point where I'm just about to give up. But then, right about then, I remember that I'm deep down a confirmed Panglossian, and that this, even with all of its obvious imperfections, amounts to my Heaven, reward rather than punishment, payoff rather than debit, Success rather than the all-too obvious absence of it. Then I can usually manage to pull my head back up and appreciate my position, however tenuous it might then seem. I might be poised between, but from within even that middle, I'm always at least in a somewhat superior position to being nowhere at all.

I long ago dropped out of the theological wars. I lost interest in being right or eternal in favor of at least aspiring after decent. Don't Be A Dick might well be my motto. Try not to be too godawful insistent, for there seems to be no better way to cede the possibility of wielding any influence than by leaving no contested ground. I'm aware that this whole business could turn around in something less than the next minute, and though I struggle just like everyone else to fully appreciate my great good fortune, I grit my teeth and accept that this, too, amounts to my Heaven, however Panglossian my philosophy might seem. I figure that I can always, if moved to, regret my current decisions later unless I find myself too busy appreciating whatever's left by then of my great and infinitely good fortune. The thing about Panglossian philosophizing seems to be that it produces its own perpetual Success, no questions asked.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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